Seminars, Colloquia, and Conferences
Guterman Lectures
Every academic year, the Department of Mathematics hosts the Martin
Guterman lecture, funded by a gift from the Guterman family to
commemorate our late colleague
Martin Guterman and his
exceptional ability to communicate real mathematics to a broad audience.
For this lecture we invite a mathematician known as an engaging speaker.
2019 Guterman Lecture
March 2019
David Richeson
Dickinson College
"Tales of Impossibility"
[Read abstract]
Abstract:
"Nothing is impossible!" It is comforting to believe this greeting card sentiment; it is the American dream.
Yet there are impossible things, and it is possible to prove that they are so.
In this talk we will look at some of the most famous impossibility theoremsâ€”the socalled "problems of antiquity."
The ancient Greek geometers and future generations of mathematicians tried and failed to square circles, trisect angles,
double cubes, and construct regular polygons using only a compass and straightedge.
It took two thousand years to prove conclusively that all four of these are mathematically impossible.
Past Guterman Lecturers
April 2018
Gigliola Staffilani (MIT)
"The Many Faces of Dispersive Equations"
Watch the 2018
lecture >
[Read abstract]
Abstract:
In recent years great progress has been made in the study
of dispersive and wave equations. Over the years the toolbox used in
order to attack highly nontrivial problems related to these
equations has developed to include a variety of techniques from
Fourier and harmonic analysis, analytic number theory, math physics,
dynamical systems, probability and symplectic geometry. In this talk
I will introduce a variety of problems connected with dispersive,
such as the derivation of a certain nonlinear Schrodinger equations
from a quantum manyparticles system, periodic Strichartz estimates,
the concept of energy transfer, the invariance of a Gibbs measure
associated to an infinite dimension Hamiltonian system and more.
March 2017
Susan Loepp (Williams College)
"The Key to Sending Secret Messages"
Watch
the 2017 lecture >
[Read abstract]
Abstract:
Suppose Alice wants to send secret messages to Bob, but the
channel over which they communicate is not secure. Suppose
also that their arch enemy, Eve, can intercept all communication
between them. It is perhaps counterintuitive that Alice and Bob
can send secret messages to each other over their insecure channel
with reasonable confidence that Eve cannot decipher their messages.
In this talk, we will discuss the history of, and the ideas behind
publickey exchanges; the first step Alice and Bob use to send
their messages. No particular mathematics background will be assumed.
April 2016
John Urschel (MIT)
"Voronoi Tessellations in Today's World"
Watch the 2016 lecture >
[Read abstract]
Abstract:
A Voronoi tessellation is a partition of space into regions defined
by distance from a given set of points. What does this have to do
with nature, technology, and sociology? Everything! I will introduce
the concept of Voronoi tessellations and how they apply to the world
we live in. In addition, I will prove new results for energyminimizing
tessellations, the socalled centroidal Voronoi tessellations.
March 2015
Eli Grigsby (Boston College)
"On Hairdos, Polynomials, and the Shape of the Universe"
Watch the 2015 lecture >
March 2014
Robert Devaney (Boston University)
"The Fractal Geometry of the Mandelbrot Set"
April 2013
Mike Hill (University of Virginia)
"Ruler, Compass, and Origami Constructions"
April 2012
Frank Morgan (Williams College)
"Soap Bubbles and Mathematics"
March 2011
John Meier (Lafayette College)
"Euler, Graphs, and Surfaces"
April 2010
William Dunham (Muhlenberg College)
"Newton's (Original)
Method, or Though this be Method, yet there is madness in't"
February 2009
Tom Banchoff (Brown University)
"Exploring Surfaces in Three and
Four Dimensions"
April 2008
Colin Adams (Williams College)
"Blown Away: What Not To Do
When Sailing"
